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Past vs. present: Revisiting us then

22 Jun 2021 7min 18sec

We’ve all once been 20 years old, the very beginning of our vigorous twenties. First published on September 28, 2001, company newsletter <HYUNDAI E&C TODAY> celebrates its 20th birthday with the 400th volume. It has been serving as a means of communication for the employees of Hyundai E&C. This time, we revisit employees who were featured in the previous volumes to express our gratitude to all executives and employees who journeyed with the newsletter for 20 years.

  Back to 2006  

Once in their twenties and thirties contemplating marriage and raising children; now veteran husbands.

[ 사보신문 400호 기념 특집 ] 과거 vs 현재, 그 시절 우리를 만나다

[ (Clockwise from top left) Kooyeong Cheong, Senior Manager (Housing Works Private); Jongwoo Shin, Senior Manager (Project Support Group); Changhun Bae, Team Leader (Development & Investment Business Group); Chuhwan Shin, Senior Manager (Area 3 of mixed use development of Yeongdong-daero underground space construction site) ]

The four guys who shared joys and sorrows in the finance department in the mid- and late- 2000s are reunited again. Single back when Volume 97 (February 29, 2006) was published, Chuhwan Shin and Kooyeong Cheong are now married and have children just like Changhun Bae. Jongwoo Shin’s children are now in university.

“I had totally forgotten about it! The photos bring back memories. We were at an underground pub in Gangnam to celebrate Chuhwan’s wedding.” – Changhun Bae

“I was so grateful. I recently came back from the Saudi Arabia site and it feels new to be back in Korea. But I think I can adapt faster than I thought, thanks to the newsletter revisiting us.” – Chuhwan Shin

The past article focused on the ‘Gong Gyeong Ae Club’. Gong Gyeong Ae is short for gongcheoga (a henpecked husband), gyeongcheoga (a wife’s husband) and aecheoga (a doting husband). “A shortcut to a happy marriage is going home after just one bar hop,” said Bae. “My wife is the best!” Shin said, showing he’s second to none when it comes to loving his wife. It’s been 15 years and all of them are now married. How is the Gong Gyeong Ae Club doing?

“It’s not an actual club, but I’m sure Bae is a true Gong Gyeong Ae at home. I can guarantee one thing though; our bar hopping never ends at the first bar,” said Cheong with laughter.

“There is no gender roles when it comes to housework,” Bae said, showing off his experience as a professional husband with 19 years of marriage.

“I don’t want to divide housework by gender, but my wife wants me to take out food waste. She’s in charge of planning and ordering, and I’m in charge of listening to her. I feel it’s a little unfair,” said Bae as he laughed. “But I learned over the course of my life that listening to my wife brings peace to our family and myself. Another tip is taking care of your health. It’s my family who suffer if I’m sick,” he added.

“You just have to close food waste bags properly and wash your hands well,” said Jongwoo Shin and Chuhwan Shin.

“Being considerate of one another is what’s important. I try to be home for dinnertime. That’s when we talk about how our day was,” Jongwoo Shin said.

“For me, actions speak louder than words. It’s not only about sharing chores – it’s also about spending time with your little ones. In the past I wanted to watch TV or have alone time. Family time is now my priority,” said Chuhwan Shin.

The traces of 15 years created wrinkles in their faces like a tree’s growth rings, but their healthy smiles haven’t changed. “HYUNDAI E&C TODAY is like a good old friend who never changes even if you don’t meet very often,” said the four men. Wrapping up the interview, the four told what they would like to see in future newsletters.

“My family read the newsletter with so much more interest than me when I take it home. It features good stories that I’m happy to show to my kids and take pride in. I look forward to more articles that boost our pride. We can’t wait!”

  Back to 2008  

Can you guess which one is the father?

[ 사보신문 400호 기념 특집 ] 과거 vs 현재, 그 시절 우리를 만나다

[ 사보신문 400호 기념 특집 ] 과거 vs 현재, 그 시절 우리를 만나다

[ Poised yet generous, Taesoo Na, Senior Manager (Design and construction of North south corridor (Viaduct) contract N113 & N115 in Singapore) and Seungwon Na, his lookalike son ]

Taesoo Na and his son Seungwon, featured in Volume 130 (July 30, 2008) as a father-son lookalike, reached out to us. His plump arms and chubby cheeks all gone, Seungwon is now a teenager. Although he’s lost all his childhood fat, he still has the same poised and generous look just like his father.

“Hi Dad! We moved to Singapore when I was in second grade because of your work. And now I’m in eighth grade. I know you were worried if I’d be able to adapt to the new environment. But thanks to you, Dad, I made a lot of friends and am doing well, so don’t worry. Always be healthy. I love you lots!” – Seungwon

“The best gift life has given me is probably you, Seungwon. Thanks for growing up healthy. I hope you always appreciate what you have, no matter where you are. My small wish is that you don’t spend too much time playing games and watching YouTube at home, although I know the pandemic makes it hard for you to go out. I promise I will come home early and play with you. Dad’s got your back. I love you. Also, I always wait for the next volume as an overseas fan of the company newsletter. I’m touched by your effort to deliver a wide range of information. I’m your forever fan. Always rooting for you!” – Taesoo Na

  Back to 2004  

Mentor and mentee of AREX construction meet again as team leaders at the site.

[ 사보신문 400호 기념 특집 ] 과거 vs 현재, 그 시절 우리를 만나다

[ The mentor and mentee are back at AREX Seoul Station. Area 2 of mixed use development of Yeongdong-daero underground space construction site Jaewoo Kim, Team Leader (left) and project team for area 2 of privately invested facility project for Daegok-Sosa double track railway Jinwook Paik, Team Leader. The photo on the right is Kim and Paik in the past. ]

The Incheon Airport Express construction project garnered attention as the largest privately invested SOC project and with its adoption of new technology and construction methods in 2004. 17 years later, the main players of the project are back together. In Volume 64 (July 23, 2004), Paik and Kim said that they should go for a 1000-year guarantee. They got back together once again at AREX Seoul Station, where they dedicated all their passion. Paik Jinwook was then the mentor (manager), and Kim Jaewoo, then the mentee (staff). Paik is now an expert in privately funded railway projects with 27 years of experience, and Kim a veteran in underground space projects with 20 years of experience. “People who work for construction companies always talk about laying concrete,” said Paik and Kim. Yet, they were quickly dragged back to their areas of expert – construction. Although it’s been a long time since they saw each other, awkwardness was nowhere to be found.

“I was the one to reach out first to the PR team. I chose <Angkor Wat Treasure Exhibition> as the location. I wanted to see ancient edifices to show that I work with a sense of duty, and to tell my future grandchildren one day that grandpa built it. Jaewoo was single back then, but now married with kids. It’d nice for him to tell his kids ‘Dad was here building it’ as he rides the AREX,” said Paik.

“I do tell my daughter every time we take it. I was assigned to area 2 of mixed use development of Yeongdong-daero underground space two days ago, and before that I worked for five and a half years at the Seoul Jemulpo undergrounding site. In fact, it takes only 30 minutes by car from my site to Mr. Paik’s site. But we’ve been so busy we couldn’t even make time to go out for lunch together. Thanks to the newsletter, we are reunited face to face after almost 20 years,” said Kim.

It’s been 17 years, yet Paik can’t forget the young Kim in his twenties. Going into work at 6:30 am and coming home at 9pm, the two grew closer than family as they went through each other’s joys and sorrows.

“I hear great deals about Jaewoo. People say he’s such a competent construction expert. It makes me feel happy because if feels like people are complimenting me,” said Paik.

People call someone an expert when he or she has more than ten years of experience in one area. With each of them building up experience in two similar yet slightly different areas, Paik and Kim took the interview as an opportunity to express their gratitude for Hyundai E&C.

“I worked mostly in depth limit sites. It can be tough, but I’m grateful to the company for helping me develop technical competence on underground space. I can call myself an expert now, which makes me want to go beyond 100 years of guarantee to 1000 years, just like Mr. Paik once said,” said Kim.

“I’m truly grateful to the company for letting me work in one field for a long time. It made me become an expert as well. I also wrote a book titled <Understanding Railways> for internal training purposes, all to transfer my knowledge I gained at Hyundai to my subordinates. It is Hyundai E&C that helped me grow to produce such output,” said Paik.

“We saw Volume 400 getting published. Why not Volume 500 and Volume 1000?” laughed Paik and Kim. They also did not forget to congratulate HYUNDAI E&C TODAY on its 20th anniversary.

“The newsletter is where we can see the faces of people we miss. It’s great to see those we couldn’t meet, just because we make an excuse saying I’m too busy. We often blame busy schedule for not being able to catch up, so seeing them on the newsletter brings back old, pleasant memories. We hope to see more participatory articles by the employees. And maybe articles like ‘life tips from your coworker.’ It’s not the most cool thing, but that’s really what life is all about,” laughed Paik and Kim.

  Back to 2003  

First time visiting Dad’s workplace in 18 years – Proud to be Hyundai family!

[ 사보신문 400호 기념 특집 ] 과거 vs 현재, 그 시절 우리를 만나다

[ Just like in the old days, the family of Kwangtae Lim (Senior Manager) visited his work site. The little kids that used to be in the arms of Mom and Dad have now become university students. ]

A section called ‘Your Workplace,’ where wives send messages of support to their husbands after visiting work sites, used to be popular among employees. Volume 44 (August 1, 2003) featured a message from Kim Youngsil, the wife of Lim Kwangtae, who was then working at area 2 of the construction site of a road connecting Seongnam and Janghowon.

“My kids was just learning to walk back then. I remember putting safety helmets on their heads and showing them around. Thanks for bringing back memories of those days full of passion. We were at Daessang Tunnel. It was such a hot summer day, yet the temperature difference between inside and outside the tunnel was over 20℃, so it was chilly inside the tunnel. But I was thankful for my kids because they did not complain about the cold or being scared of the tunnel. Their smiles made my day,” said Lim.

In charge of safety at the site in 2003, Lim now visits sites throughout the country as a senior manager of safety support team, working on accident prevention. Eighteen years meant Sooha and Dohun, who used to be small enough to be held in their parents’ arms, also grew up. The two are now big enough to hold mom in their arms. The article featuring the family also has become a special memory for Lim’s two children and wife.

“I was happy to see ourselves and our parents back when they were younger, which we don’t really remember much. I’m really proud of Dad – he goes to work early and tries his best at work. As much as he gives everything for his work, he does his best when we spend time together. I hope we are always healthy, happy, and create more memories together. I love you all!” said his daughter, Sooha, and son, Dohun.

“The article brought a smile to my face as I reminisced about our old days. Our kids were six and four years old then. Now they are all grown up, protecting and giving us more happiness. We revisited our old memories and took photos in the same poses as the old ones to create more memories, thanks to HYUNDAI E&C TODAY. And lots of thanks and love to my husband, my other half, Kwangtae, who worked so hard for our family for such a long time. Let’s live healthy and happy!” said wife Youngsil.